Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
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21-08-2012, 11:02 AM
Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
My mother is an alien!!!

Fascinating article over at Skeptic:

Close Encounters of the Facial Kind:
Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn
Facial Recognition Template?

by Frederick V. Malmstrom

The Descriptions of alien faces historically reported by UFO abductees are almost boringly uniform. Long before “close encounters” became a catchword in the ufologist’s vocabulary, self-proclaimed UFO abductees described their abductors as bulbous-headed humanoids equipped with oversized, wraparound eyes, vertical double-slit nostrils and gray skin. Is there another explanation for this uniformity of features besides the most obvious — that it is a description of an actual alien race?

Reports of Aliens

The archetypical alien face most commonly reported by abductees is usually recalled while the victim is in a hypnagogic half-dream state, or else under hypnotic regression. Figure 1 below shows a typical face drawn by a self-claimed UFO abductee who was interviewed by psychologist Robert A. Baker in 1993. Figure 2 shows another typical alien face drawn by one of my abductee clients. In 1979, my colleague Richard Coffman and I published a study of the bodily dimensions of reported aliens. Our random sample of 30 reported aliens revealed that 100% were humanoid in shape and stood at a median height of 155 cm (60 inches )— a height close to that of the average woman. In addition, 80% of our sample had the typical UFO face: prominent, somewhat diagonally oriented eyes, double-slit nostrils, and little or no evidence of a mouth.

[Image: alienface_fig1.jpg]
FIGURE 1: a typical face drawn by a self-claimed UFO abductee.

Our most telling finding was that most of our alien encounters were reported by subjects who admitted to either being in a hypnagogic state (that nether region between sleep and wakefulness) at the time, or else they were experiencing hypnotic regression. For instance, the world-famous abduction of a New Hampshire couple, Betty and Barney Hill (Betty was once a neighbor of mine) was not reported by them immediately after it happened. They recalled the abduction several weeks later, and then only when prompted to do so under the influence of hypnotic regression.

The Inborn Visual Recognition Template

Many newborn animals are equipped with inborn visual recognition templates. It has been well over a half century since ethololgist Niko Tinbergen found that newly hatched chicks would automatically cower from shadow patterns that resembled predators (such as hawks). These same chicks ignored shadow patterns that matched nonpredators (such as geese).

[Image: alienface_fig2.jpg]
FIGURE 2: another typical alien face drawn by one of Malmstrom’s abductee clients.

Human facial recognition is a highly specialized ability, and it seems to be pre-wired before birth in specific visual processing areas of the brain. However, the human newborn ability to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar faces does not develop in infants until about two months of age. Up to that time, an infant will respond favorably to nearly any face, familiar or unfamiliar, normal or bizarre, mother or Halloween mask. Of course, all these human-type faces seem to share two quite generalized and nonspecific features, namely a pair of eyes and a nose.

The singular feature that seems to grab the baby’s attention is the presence of two large horizontally arranged spots or “eyes.” Infants seem to ignore one or three spots. Furthermore, the pioneer pupillometry researcher Eckhard Hess reported that infants paid especially close attention to the size of the “pupils” within these eyes. Larger pupils attracted more infant attention than smaller ones. The visual presentation that gathered most infants’ attention was the dual large-pupil schematic shown in Figure 3.

[Image: alienface_fig3.jpg]
FIGURE 3: Dual “pupil” schematic which receives the most attention from newborn infants (after Hess, 1975).

More here: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/clos...cial-kind/

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22-08-2012, 06:10 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
Yes, same as crop circles...

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22-08-2012, 09:58 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
...except a newborn would never see a crop circle. Big Grin

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23-08-2012, 11:28 AM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(22-08-2012 09:58 PM)Quidsane Wrote:  ...except a newborn would never see a crop circle. Big Grin

Unless of course the new born did see a crop circle, in which case they would have.

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24-08-2012, 04:19 AM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(23-08-2012 11:28 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(22-08-2012 09:58 PM)Quidsane Wrote:  ...except a newborn would never see a crop circle. Big Grin

Unless of course the new born did see a crop circle, in which case they would have.

...and if a newborn did "see" a crop circle (newborn's vision is extremely limited),
it wouldn't recognize the crop circle as its mother or any humanoid-type of face, which was the point of the article.

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24-08-2012, 07:51 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(24-08-2012 04:19 AM)Quidsane Wrote:  
(23-08-2012 11:28 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Unless of course the new born did see a crop circle, in which case they would have.

...and if a newborn did "see" a crop circle (newborn's vision is extremely limited),
it wouldn't recognize the crop circle as its mother or any humanoid-type of face, which was the point of the article.

Unless of course it did see the crop circle and recognize it as a humanoid face. In which case I was right.

In all seriousness, though, this is an unsubstantiated theory.

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24-08-2012, 08:03 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(24-08-2012 07:51 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(24-08-2012 04:19 AM)Quidsane Wrote:  ...and if a newborn did "see" a crop circle (newborn's vision is extremely limited),
it wouldn't recognize the crop circle as its mother or any humanoid-type of face, which was the point of the article.

Unless of course it did see the crop circle and recognize it as a humanoid face. In which case I was right.

In all seriousness, though, this is an unsubstantiated theory.

No, you're not right. Smile
A newborn's vision is not developed enough to see something as massive as a crop circle.
But you already know this, smart ass.Big Grin
As far as "unsubstantiated" goes:

1. The article comes from Michael Shermer's publication. Ever heard of him?
2. You do know you're in the pseudoscience section, right?

"In all seriousness", is it your contention that people are actually seeing aliens?

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24-08-2012, 09:49 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(24-08-2012 08:03 PM)Quidsane Wrote:  
(24-08-2012 07:51 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Unless of course it did see the crop circle and recognize it as a humanoid face. In which case I was right.

In all seriousness, though, this is an unsubstantiated theory.

No, you're not right. Smile
A newborn's vision is not developed enough to see something as massive as a crop circle.
But you already know this, smart ass.Big Grin
As far as "unsubstantiated" goes:

1. The article comes from Michael Shermer's publication. Ever heard of him?
2. You do know you're in the pseudoscience section, right?

"In all seriousness", is it your contention that people are actually seeing aliens?

Unless of course I am right, in which case you'd be wrong. ;D

Because there is no proof to support the claim, I am inclined to disagree with the notion that aliens are visiting our planet.

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24-08-2012, 11:48 PM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
(24-08-2012 09:49 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Because there is no proof to support the claim, I am inclined to disagree with the notion that aliens are visiting our planet.

Quite right, they're not.
And when you start with that notion, you're left with the question of why
thousands upon thousands claim to have seen this eerily similar face.

I read "unsubstantiated" as without substance and/or baseless.
I would suggest that the reason you find this theory to be without substance
is because you didn't bother to read the whole article (linked in the OP).
There's much more information on Skeptic Magazine's website.

Also, an article or study is lent a modicum of credibilty (to say the least)
just by virtue of being published by Michael Shermer's organization at all.
That's my opinion of course, but one shared by many.

Disagreeing with a premise and branding it as "unsubstantiated" are two different things.
I fail to see how one could look at the interesting conclusion in the linked article and find it to be baseless.

Look, we know these people are not being visited by aliens.
I think that the "Inborn-Facial-Recognition-Template-gone-haywire" theory is a credible one.
Is it correct? We don't know yet. That's the nature of Science.Thumbsup

Your move.

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25-08-2012, 04:02 AM
RE: Are UFO Alien Faces an Inborn Facial Recognition Template?
Very interesting theory Consider

Would be cool to hypnotise/regress massive swathes of the world population, see what the results would be.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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